By Elizabeth Musser
Write now–ah-hem, excuse me–right now, I have a ‘stack’ of novels on my bedside table. Well, they actually reside within my Kindle. None have been published–yet. Some will come out next year with a traditional publisher, several I received from my agent who asked if I would kindly take a look, and three or four are from fellow writers I’ve met through ACFW or another writing venue who are looking for an agent or a publisher.
All would like me to read the manuscripts and hopefully offer an endorsement. Although I cannot always make the deadline, and, at times, I honestly cannot endorse the book after reading it, I do always consider the request.
Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of reading and endorsing quite a few not-yet-published novels. (No one has yet asked me to endorse his non-fiction book about rocket science though!) Occasionally I’ll have a conversation with a reader at one of my book signing events or will receive a heart-felt letter from a reader, explaining her writing journey and her desire to be published. And I’ll respond, “You write me the best first chapter ever and if I like it, I’ll send your proposal to my agent.”
It’s my joy to help another writer along on his or her journey. After all, didn’t someone help each of us along too?
Over the summer, I asked for and received endorsements for my newest novel, The Long Highway Home. Was I thankful? You bet! I also included in the ‘pre-release’ (long story for another blog post) copies of this novel a little note asking readers to consider writing a review if they enjoyed the book.
As we all know, endorsements and reader reviews are becoming more and more important in this digital age where readers can get (and give) much information about their favorite and least favorite reads with just one click.
As writers, we have the privilege of encouraging other writers along the winding and sometimes confusing path toward publication and book sales. Attending ACFW this year, I was once again struck by the solidarity among this group of writers. Sure comparison and jealousy may lurk, but the honest love and respect we have for each other shines out–whether you are a complete newbie (I loved meeting several sweet and savvy aspiring writers just venturing out to their first conference) or a multi-published career novelist or someone in between.
So ask for endorsements for your novel and write endorsements for others, even when time is tight. Leave a review of a novel you loved and thank those wonderful readers who write to you and who leave reviews.
And thank the Lord for the privilege of encouraging each other along the way.
(In the photo below, I’m signing the pre-release edition of The Long Highway Home, putting a bookmark and a little note inside asking for reader reviews and smiling for the camera with two of my most faithful readers.)
Elizabeth Musser writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet–tool shed–outside Lyon, France. For over twenty-five years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in missions work in Europe with International Teams. The Mussers have two sons, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren who all live way too far away in America. Find more about Elizabeth’s novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and her new blog.